Against Behe's ID 'theory'

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Mark Buchanan

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Jun 14, 2012, 5:41:35 PM6/14/12
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For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:

http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins-of-irreducible-complexity-5

Mark

Kalkidas

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Jun 14, 2012, 5:50:02 PM6/14/12
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On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>
> For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>
> http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins-of-irreducible-complexity-5

It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
complexity exists.

Ray Martinez

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Jun 14, 2012, 6:47:01 PM6/14/12
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On Jun 14, 2:50 pm, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
> On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>
>
>
> > For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>
> >http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>
> It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
> complexity exists.

"Evolutionist admits IC exists."

If true, why does said author remain an Evolutionist?

Ray

Burkhard

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Jun 14, 2012, 6:06:56 PM6/14/12
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On Jun 14, 10:50 pm, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
> On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>
>
>
> > For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>
> >http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>
> It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
> complexity exists.

Don't think anybody doubted it. Single part systems are trivially IC.
There is just no problem with IC systems evolving.

Robert Camp

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Jun 14, 2012, 6:57:57 PM6/14/12
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On Jun 14, 2:50 pm, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
> On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>
>
>
> > For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>
> >http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>
> It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
> complexity exists.

How long have you been asleep?

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ICsilly.html
http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Suboptimal.cfm
http://www.sirc.org/articles/intelligent_design.shtml

RLC


Burkhard

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Jun 14, 2012, 7:18:47 PM6/14/12
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Because there is no problem for IC systems to evolve?


Robert Camp

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Jun 14, 2012, 7:03:41 PM6/14/12
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Because "evolutionists" (most people in fact) tend to base their
conclusions on the merits of the evidence. Few people think as you do;
that the truth of an argument can be established definitionally -
e.g., "Irreducible complexity is disproof of evolution, therefore one
cannot accept the factuality of both."

RLC

Ray Martinez

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Jun 14, 2012, 7:46:59 PM6/14/12
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Then these systems cannot be IC.

Ray

Ray Martinez

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Jun 14, 2012, 7:54:27 PM6/14/12
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The definition of IC is based on the claim of fact: certain phenomena,
if it exists, could not have been produced by gradualism. If said
phenomena was produced by gradualism then the same cannot be
irreducibly complex. It can be complex, but not irreducibly complex.

Ray

Kalkidas

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Jun 14, 2012, 8:11:02 PM6/14/12
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On 6/14/2012 3:57 PM, Robert Camp wrote:
> On Jun 14, 2:50 pm, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
>> On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>> For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>>
>>> http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>>
>> It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
>> complexity exists.
>
> How long have you been asleep?

If I were asleep, Darwinism wouldn't be in my wildest dreams. So I must
have been awake all this time.

Mark Buchanan

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Jun 14, 2012, 9:01:31 PM6/14/12
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On Thursday, June 14, 2012 7:54:27 PM UTC-4, Ray Martinez wrote:
> On Jun 14, 4:03 pm, Robert Camp <robertlc...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > On Jun 14, 3:47 pm, Ray Martinez
Do the philosophical details of IC definition matter? Venema takes the time to explain the specifics of Behe's concept of IC then shows by example that evolution can produce something that fits the bill. Behe's IC system not only can evolve, but it can evolve in multiple ways repeatedly.

Mark

jillery

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Jun 14, 2012, 11:32:06 PM6/14/12
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I have to admit you were certainly awake enough to delete Robert's
cites, which disprove your previous baseless assertion.


Restored so you can ignore them again:

Ernest Major

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Jun 15, 2012, 2:19:03 AM6/15/12
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In message
<cd7bbaa0-f57b-4f1f...@mi5g2000pbc.googlegroups.com>, Ray
Martinez <pyram...@yahoo.com> writes
Because, as you ought to know by now, evolution is predicted to produce
irreducibly complex systems. (Neither Kalkidas nor Mark Buchanan is
using your definition of irreducibly complex as unevolvable.)
>
>Ray
>

--
alias Ernest Major

Mark Isaak

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Jun 15, 2012, 2:58:36 AM6/15/12
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It was an evolutionist who *predicted* irreducible complexity would
exist. More specifically, that it would evolve.

--
Mark Isaak eciton (at) curioustaxonomy (dot) net
"It is certain, from experience, that the smallest grain of natural
honesty and benevolence has more effect on men's conduct, than the most
pompous views suggested by theological theories and systems." - D. Hume

backspace

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Jun 15, 2012, 3:29:11 AM6/15/12
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On Jun 14, 10:41 pm, Mark Buchanan <marklynn.bucha...@gmail.com>
wrote:
> For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>
> http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>
> Mark

Behe's ID was a different term for Darcy Thompson's Composite
Integrity. An idea Aristotle had under the label
spontaneous generation. There are various dissimilar terms for the
*claim of logic* that only related parts in a *composite integrity* in
can enable a functional device as it relates to complexity and
redundancy.

IC is a claim of logic, you either like Aristotle and unlike Darwin
get the logic or you don't . IF you don't there is very little one
can do about it.

Darwin disagreed with Aristotle as can be seen with his comments on
the formation of teeth. Aristotle correctly identified the
relationship between teeth as IC.


backspace

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Jun 15, 2012, 4:10:20 AM6/15/12
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On Jun 15, 12:54 am, Ray Martinez <pyramid...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jun 14, 4:03 pm, Robert Camp <robertlc...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jun 14, 3:47 pm, Ray Martinez <pyramid...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Jun 14, 2:50 pm, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
>
> > > > On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>
> > > > > For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>
> > > > >http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>
> > > > It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
> > > > complexity exists.
>
> > > "Evolutionist admits IC exists."
>
> > > If true, why does said author remain an Evolutionist?
>
> > Because "evolutionists" (most people in fact) tend to base their
> > conclusions on the merits of the evidence. Few people think as you do;
> > that the truth of an argument can be established definitionally -
> > e.g., "Irreducible complexity is disproof of evolution, therefore one
> > cannot accept the factuality of both."
>
> > RLC
>
> The definition of IC is based on the claim of fact: certain phenomena,
> if it exists, could not have been produced by gradualism.

Correct as Aristotle understood it in his description of the formation
of teeth *without God*. IC could be both
miraculous or by God. Darwin felt that spontaneous generation was
indistinguishable from an outright God given miracle. He thus took
Aristotle's rhetorical tautological paragraph(claim of logic) and
derived a different non-sequitur namely gradualism.

Gradualism for complex machines, ligaments are illogical as a
proposition itself. What made it seemingly possible was Darwin's usage
of dissimilar terms that self-referentialy referred to the same fact
to formulate a proposition that guarantees its own truth, forcing the
unguarded to accept the non-sequitur of gradualism.

I am still working on a post on this matter at http://tautology.wikia.com/wiki/Aristotle






If said
> phenomena was produced by gradualism then the same cannot be
> irreducibly complex. It can be complex, but not irreducibly complex.
>
> Ray

This is the same view Aristotle had. Spontaneous generation is a
different means of invoking a miracle but without God.

backspace

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Jun 15, 2012, 4:14:10 AM6/15/12
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Are you using the object *evolution* to symbolically represent
1) an idea in the pattern with a purpose or pattern without a purpose
sense.
2) An idea that rejects this Platonic duality, what is it about
language itself you assume as your premise?

backspace

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Jun 15, 2012, 4:20:53 AM6/15/12
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I agree if you are using "evolving" as a dissimilar term for
Aristotle's *spontaneous generation*. There is nothing the term evolve
that indicates a systems IC status.
1) An engineer evolved a bridge. Obviously bridges are IC and evolved
is used in the IC sense.
2) Via a gradual evolution process Darwin believed organisms acquired
their attributes.

1) is used in the IC sense and 2) is used it the gradualism sense. We
can't even determine from a full sentence - You have a green light
what is meant due to the Structural Ambiguity of language itself,
therefore the situation for a single term *evolution* is far more
ambiguous.

This issue is not what does Evolution mean, but what do you mean?


Burkhard

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Jun 15, 2012, 4:25:14 AM6/15/12
to
Irreducible only means that it can't be reduced (duh!) any fuhrer, you
can't take parts of it away without destroying its functioning
Whether or not a system has that property can be decided independently
of any reference to evolution.

IC systems typically will not be very complex. The more complex a
system, the less likely it is to be IC, the simpler, the more likely


>
> Ray


Burkhard

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Jun 15, 2012, 4:21:39 AM6/15/12
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I see, you still don't understand what IC mean, I remember we went
over this before.

IC systems are _defined_ as :

"A single system which is composed of several interacting parts that
contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of
the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.
(Darwin's Black Box p39)"

That is _all_ that there is in the definition. Note that nowhere in
the definition, evolution is mentioned, and ability or inability to
evolve is NOT stated as part of the definition.

Rather, once he made the definition, Behe makes a twofold claim: IC
systems, as defined above, actually exists AND there is no way that
they can have evolved (because me mistakenly believes that evolution
only ever ADDS stuff)

So for Behe and his fellow travellers, the question whether IC systems
exists and whether they can evolve is not the same. Rather, "IC
systems cannot have possibly been created through evolution" is an
empirical claim _about_ IC systems that can be true or wrong (which
makes it interesting)

As it so happens, it is wrong. IC systems, as defined, exist, BUT
there are petty straightforward evolutionary pathways that show that
they can have evolved without problem.

Your rendition of IC btw makes it utterly worthless for the
discussion. If you include "did not evolve" already in the definition,
you can drop as well the IC part as redundant.

TomS

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Jun 15, 2012, 7:13:10 AM6/15/12
to
"On Fri, 15 Jun 2012 01:20:53 -0700 (PDT), in article
<878749d5-4043-4ab2...@q29g2000vby.googlegroups.com>, backspace
stated..."
>
>On Jun 14, 11:06 pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>> On Jun 14, 10:50 pm, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
>>
>> > On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>>
>>> > For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA
>>complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>>
>> > >http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>>
>> > It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
>> > complexity exists.
>>
>> Don't think anybody doubted it.
>> Single part systems are trivially IC.
>
>> There is just no problem with IC systems evolving.
>
>I agree if you are using "evolving" as a dissimilar term for
>Aristotle's *spontaneous generation*. There is nothing the term evolve
>that indicates a systems IC status.
>1) An engineer evolved a bridge. Obviously bridges are IC and evolved
>is used in the IC sense.

There are natural bridges which were not designed by engineers and not
manufactured according to a plan, but have come about by processes like
erosion.


>2) Via a gradual evolution process Darwin believed organisms acquired
>their attributes.

For some instances of biological structures which are "irreducibly
complex" it has been shown in some detail how they could evolve.
For example, the structure of the mammalian middle ear.

>
>1) is used in the IC sense and 2) is used it the gradualism sense. We
>can't even determine from a full sentence - You have a green light
>what is meant due to the Structural Ambiguity of language itself,
>therefore the situation for a single term *evolution* is far more
>ambiguous.
>
>This issue is not what does Evolution mean, but what do you mean?
>
>


--
---Tom S.
"Ah, yeah, well, whenever you notice something like that, a wizard did it"
Lucy Lawless, the Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror X: Desperately Xeeking Xena"
(1999)

TomS

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Jun 15, 2012, 7:21:09 AM6/15/12
to
"On Thu, 14 Jun 2012 23:58:36 -0700, in article
<jremer$gp1$2...@speranza.aioe.org>, Mark Isaak stated..."
>
>On 6/14/12 2:50 PM, Kalkidas wrote:
>> On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>>>
>>> For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA
>>> complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>>>
>>>http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins-of-irreducible-complexity-5
>>>
>>
>> It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
>> complexity exists.
>
>It was an evolutionist who *predicted* irreducible complexity would
>exist. More specifically, that it would evolve.
>

There is a long history of talk about irreducible complexity of
biological systems. See the Wikipedia article

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity#Forerunners>

Steven L.

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Jun 15, 2012, 8:21:57 AM6/15/12
to
On 6/14/2012 5:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>
> For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>
> http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins-of-irreducible-complexity-5

Thank you.

Parts of this writeup are also a good refutation to Dr. Kleinman's
calculations.





-- Steven L.



Ron O

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Jun 15, 2012, 8:15:03 AM6/15/12
to
On Jun 15, 6:21 am, TomS <TomS_mem...@newsguy.com> wrote:
> "On Thu, 14 Jun 2012 23:58:36 -0700, in article
> <jremer$gp...@speranza.aioe.org>, Mark Isaak stated..."
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> >On 6/14/12 2:50 PM, Kalkidas wrote:
> >> On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>
> >>> For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA
> >>> complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>
> >>>http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>
> >> It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
> >> complexity exists.
>
> >It was an evolutionist who *predicted* irreducible complexity would
> >exist.  More specifically, that it would evolve.
>
> There is a long history of talk about irreducible complexity of
> biological systems. See the Wikipedia article
>
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity#Forerunners>

The usual irreducible complexity was never an issue even if it was
part of Behe's definition. Even Behe doesn't deny that systems
composed of multiple parts where if you take a part away the system
does not function in it usual manner, could evolve. Behe has
maintained, since at least 2002, that there is something else that
makes his type of IC systems different. He started emphasizing that
the parts had to be well matched, but he never came up with a
definition of well matched so that notion could never be tested.
Really, the last thing that I saw Behe add to his IC claims was that
the more parts a system had the "more" IC it was. Behe's IC never got
past the untestable hypothesis stage. He only claimed that his type
of IC systems exist. He never demonstrated that his type of IC
system existed.

Ron Okimoto

backspace

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Jun 15, 2012, 9:16:44 AM6/15/12
to
On Jun 15, 9:25 am, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
> On Jun 15, 12:54 am, Ray Martinez <pyramid...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jun 14, 4:03 pm, Robert Camp <robertlc...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Jun 14, 3:47 pm, Ray Martinez <pyramid...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > > > On Jun 14, 2:50 pm, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
>
> > > > > On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>
> > > > > > For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>
> > > > > >http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>
> > > > > It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
> > > > > complexity exists.
>
> > > > "Evolutionist admits IC exists."
>
> > > > If true, why does said author remain an Evolutionist?
>
> > > Because "evolutionists" (most people in fact) tend to base their
> > > conclusions on the merits of the evidence. Few people think as you do;
> > > that the truth of an argument can be established definitionally -
> > > e.g., "Irreducible complexity is disproof of evolution, therefore one
> > > cannot accept the factuality of both."
>
> > > RLC
>
> > The definition of IC is based on the claim of fact: certain phenomena,
> > if it exists, could not have been produced by gradualism. If said
> > phenomena was produced by gradualism then the same cannot be
> > irreducibly complex. It can be complex, but not irreducibly complex.
>
> Irreducible only means that it can't be reduced (duh!) any fuhrer, you
> can't take parts of it away without destroying its functioning

In terms of the *original* definition given by Behe yes. I defined the
*intent* of Behe, D'arcy Thompson, and Alexander Pope as Irreducible
Functionality http://tautology.wikia.com/wiki/Irreducible_Functionality

A function can be constituted using any combination of parts in terms
of its redundancy and complexity. We must determine an entity's
functionality first(mouse trap) and demarcate this from its
complexity(minimum and maximum parts) and how this relates to
redundancy. Removing parts and retaining its original function,might
reduce its redundancy and resiliency.

> Whether or not a system has that property can be decided independently
> of any reference to evolution.

Evolution in the pattern or design sense?

> IC systems typically will not be very complex. The more complex a
> system, the less likely it is to be IC, the simpler, the more likely

I disagree, would you elaborate?

Burkhard

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Jun 15, 2012, 10:21:34 AM6/15/12
to
That seems to me to be a rather problematic exercise in reading Behe's
mind. What you describe as irreducible functionality would not do the
job that Behe wants IC to do.

>
> A function can be constituted using any combination of parts in terms
> of its redundancy and complexity. We must determine an entity's
> functionality first(mouse trap) and demarcate this from its
> complexity(minimum and maximum parts) and how this relates to
> redundancy. Removing parts and retaining its original function,might
> reduce its redundancy and resiliency.
>
> > Whether or not a system has that property can be decided independently
> > of any reference to evolution.
>
> Evolution in the pattern or design sense?
>

Since I said that an objects IC status can be decided independently of
evolution, it really does not matter, that's what "independent" means.
We need not know anything else but if we take away a part, the thing
woudl stiull work as before.


> > IC systems typically will not be very complex. The more complex a
> > system, the less likely it is to be IC, the simpler, the more likely
>
> I disagree, would you elaborate?

An IC system is one where you can't remove a part and the system still
works. The fewer parts you have, the fewer you can remove. Highly
complex systems have lots of redundancy, so we can remove lots of
(redundant)parts without interfering with the working of the system. A
computer with 40 backup drives is more complex than one that has only
one harddrive, but it is in the simple one that you can't remove the
harddrive without losing functionality.

As a limiting case, all objects with just one part are by definition
and trivially irreducibly complex.





Robert Camp

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Jun 15, 2012, 1:28:20 PM6/15/12
to
On Jun 14, 4:54 pm, Ray Martinez <pyramid...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jun 14, 4:03 pm, Robert Camp <robertlc...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jun 14, 3:47 pm, Ray Martinez <pyramid...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Jun 14, 2:50 pm, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
>
> > > > On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>
> > > > > For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>
> > > > >http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>
> > > > It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
> > > > complexity exists.
>
> > > "Evolutionist admits IC exists."
>
> > > If true, why does said author remain an Evolutionist?
>
> > Because "evolutionists" (most people in fact) tend to base their
> > conclusions on the merits of the evidence. Few people think as you do;
> > that the truth of an argument can be established definitionally -
> > e.g., "Irreducible complexity is disproof of evolution, therefore one
> > cannot accept the factuality of both."
>
> > RLC
>
> The definition of IC is based on the claim of fact: certain phenomena,
> if it exists, could not have been produced by gradualism.

[Ignoring, for the moment, the fact that Herman Muller described
"IC" (interlocking) systems as a product of evolution long before
Behe...]

No, the claim is based on the definition, which you have wrong.

But the claim is not a fact, it is an argument that requires
evidential support. It is premised upon IC as defined by Behe (see
Burkhard's post) and I would have you observe, as Burkhard pointed
out, that Behe does not include "cannot have evolved" in the
definition. There's a good reason for this. Behe understood that doing
so would amount to begging the question, and it would have done him no
good. Defining an IC system as something that cannot have evolved
would have been a direct assumption of the conclusion he was
attempting to put forward and would have earned him nothing but scorn
for his inability to formulate a coherent argument.

Thus the *definition* of IC was an observation about interrelated
parts in a system, and the *argument* which followed from it was that
such a system cannot evolve. Many pathways have since been offered by
which such systems can in fact evolve, leaving Behe's specific claims
essentially falsified.

You do not understand what IC is, and you've gotten the argument
backwards. When will you recognize that your dependence upon personal
definitions is dysfunctional?

RLC

Kalkidas

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Jun 15, 2012, 1:28:36 PM6/15/12
to
I thought the old strategy was, ala Kenneth Miller, to take a system
that an IDer claims is IC and show how it's not *really* IC.

So my take is that this strategy failed so spectacularly that a new one
is being developed, where IC is admitted, but evolution is invoked to
"explain" it.

Although, as usual, the strategist feels no obligation to give an actual
evolutionary pathway, but only to show that a pathway is not absolutely
forbidden, and then claim that therefore it *must* exist).

TomS

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Jun 15, 2012, 1:38:11 PM6/15/12
to
"On Fri, 15 Jun 2012 05:15:03 -0700 (PDT), in article
<90170922-64bf-4d96...@h10g2000yqn.googlegroups.com>, Ron O
stated..."
The chain of bones consisting of the hammer, anvil and stirrup are
certainly as "well matched" as one can imagine.

And the evidence for the evolution of this chain of bones - or, to
put it conservatively, the demonstration that it is possible for
this chain to have arisen by incremental, small steps - is as
convincing as one could hope for. And if one shows merely that there
is such a possible evolutionary sequence, that is enough to show that
the IC argument (that it is impossible to arrive at an IC structure by
small, incremental steps) is not sound.

Robert Camp

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Jun 15, 2012, 1:34:30 PM6/15/12
to
Come now, are you telling me your dreams don't include a little
differential reproduction every now and then?

RLC

backspace

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Jun 15, 2012, 1:45:42 PM6/15/12
to
On Jun 15, 6:28 pm, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
> On 6/14/2012 3:06 PM, Burkhard wrote:
>
> > On Jun 14, 10:50 pm, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
> >> On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>
> >>> For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>
> >>>http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>
> >> It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
> >> complexity exists.
>
> > Don't think anybody doubted it. Single part systems are trivially IC.
> > There is just no problem with IC systems evolving.
>
> I thought the old strategy was, ala Kenneth Miller, to take a system
> that an IDer claims is IC and show how it's not *really* IC.
>
> So my take is that this strategy failed so spectacularly that a new one
> is being developed, where IC is admitted, but evolution is invoked to
> "explain" it.
Evolution could be gradual(Darwin) or spontaneous(Aristotle). In terms
of Platonic duality we understand Spontaneous assembly as the opposite
of gradual assembly. A watch is gradually assembled as the end goal is
the mind of the assembler. With the inverse PID control
algorithms(neural control actually) we have a universal mathematical
construct that is IF (Irreducibly functional), meaning that the inter
relationship between the variables and differential equations can't be
reduced below a certain point or the function of stabilizing a human,
chicken,dog, cat etc. can't be achieved.

There is no means that the neural control algorithms itself could be
gradually acquired, the control concept must function as a functional
whole. The actual muscles only represent this unseen algorithm.



> Although, as usual, the strategist feels no obligation to give an actual
> evolutionary pathway, but only to show that a pathway is not absolutely
> forbidden, and then claim that therefore it *must* exist).

Spontaneous or gradual. With evolution itself we have gradualism and
punkeek, to which sect is being referred.

Robert Camp

unread,
Jun 15, 2012, 1:51:14 PM6/15/12
to
On Jun 15, 10:28 am, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
> On 6/14/2012 3:06 PM, Burkhard wrote:
>
> > On Jun 14, 10:50 pm, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
> >> On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>
> >>> For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>
> >>>http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>
> >> It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
> >> complexity exists.
>
> > Don't think anybody doubted it. Single part systems are trivially IC.
> > There is just no problem with IC systems evolving.
>
> I thought the old strategy was, ala Kenneth Miller, to take a system
> that an IDer claims is IC and show how it's not *really* IC.

> So my take is that this strategy failed so spectacularly that a new one
> is being developed, where IC is admitted, but evolution is invoked to
> "explain" it.

Then you, like Ray, have failed to distinguish between the definition
and the argument based upon the definition.

Showing "how it's not *really* IC" (per Behe's claim) never meant
arguing the system didn't exist, it meant demonstrating that it could
be produced by natural processes. This has always been the strategy.

> Although, as usual, the strategist feels no obligation to give an actual
> evolutionary pathway, but only to show that a pathway is not absolutely
> forbidden, and then claim that therefore it *must* exist).

This rhetorical dodge is as silly now as when you first started
talking about it. Do you also require that geologists produce maps
that describe in exacting detail the movement of the continents in
order to accept plate tectonics?

RLC

Kalkidas

unread,
Jun 15, 2012, 2:04:53 PM6/15/12
to
On 6/15/2012 10:51 AM, Robert Camp wrote:
> On Jun 15, 10:28 am, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
>> On 6/14/2012 3:06 PM, Burkhard wrote:
>>
>>> On Jun 14, 10:50 pm, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
>>>> On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>>
>>>>> For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>>
>>>>> http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>>
>>>> It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
>>>> complexity exists.
>>
>>> Don't think anybody doubted it. Single part systems are trivially IC.
>>> There is just no problem with IC systems evolving.
>>
>> I thought the old strategy was, ala Kenneth Miller, to take a system
>> that an IDer claims is IC and show how it's not *really* IC.
>
>> So my take is that this strategy failed so spectacularly that a new one
>> is being developed, where IC is admitted, but evolution is invoked to
>> "explain" it.
>
> Then you, like Ray, have failed to distinguish between the definition
> and the argument based upon the definition.
>
> Showing "how it's not *really* IC" (per Behe's claim) never meant
> arguing the system didn't exist, it meant demonstrating that it could
> be produced by natural processes. This has always been the strategy.

Kenneth Miller did try to show that Behe's examples were not *really*
IC. He practically made a career out of poo-pooing the very idea of IC.
He brought a contrived "mousetrap" to public debates so he could pretend
to show how removing a part did not reduce the functionality.

Of course, Miller's not the only one who did this, and to be fair there
may have been others all along who did not disagree that IC systems
exist in nature. But Miller got the publicity, so the public image of
anti-ID is that it claims there is no such thing as irreducible
complexity, or at the very least, that there is no way to operationally
define IC.

>> Although, as usual, the strategist feels no obligation to give an actual
>> evolutionary pathway, but only to show that a pathway is not absolutely
>> forbidden, and then claim that therefore it *must* exist).
>
> This rhetorical dodge is as silly now as when you first started
> talking about it. Do you also require that geologists produce maps
> that describe in exacting detail the movement of the continents in
> order to accept plate tectonics?

I require that Kenneth Miller produce a complete chemical pathway from a
non-flagellar bacterium to a flagellar bacterium.

Ernest Major

unread,
Jun 15, 2012, 2:24:22 PM6/15/12
to
In message <jrftgg$pf6$1...@speranza.aioe.org>, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub>
writes
It is hard to find an unambiguously IC system, because of the lack of
objective criteria for identifying systems, parts and functions - in
many cases a system is IC if you define parts coarsely, and not IC if
you define parts finely. My reductio ad absurdam is to consider each
amino acid residue in a protein to be a part - you'd be hard put to find
a protein which is 100% conserved.

Furthermore one might take the view that the system of nucleus,
cytoplasm and mitochondrion is irreducibly complex - in most eukaryote
cells remove one and cell doesn't work any more. But mammalian
erythrocytes are enucleate, and some protists are secondarily
amitochondriate. Just because a part can't be immediately removed
doesn't mean that there isn't a longer pathway to working system with
the part lacking.

So while there are systems which can reasonably be labelled as
irreducibly complex, it seems to me that an operational definition is
indeed lacking.
>
>>> Although, as usual, the strategist feels no obligation to give an actual
>>> evolutionary pathway, but only to show that a pathway is not absolutely
>>> forbidden, and then claim that therefore it *must* exist).
>>
>> This rhetorical dodge is as silly now as when you first started
>> talking about it. Do you also require that geologists produce maps
>> that describe in exacting detail the movement of the continents in
>> order to accept plate tectonics?
>
>I require that Kenneth Miller produce a complete chemical pathway from
>a non-flagellar bacterium to a flagellar bacterium.
>
Thank you for you implicit concession that irreducible complexity is not
a challenge to the theory of evolution.
--
alias Ernest Major

Robert Camp

unread,
Jun 15, 2012, 2:42:18 PM6/15/12
to
Sure. He was arguing with Behe's concept of IC. He also spent a lot of
time showing how each successive stage in the construction (evolution)
of a mousetrap might be beneficial, thus preserved. It was an in
principle argument aimed at Behe's claim, not his definition.

> Of course, Miller's not the only one who did this, and to be fair there
> may have been others all along who did not disagree that IC systems
> exist in nature.

I'll grant you that there was something of a shift. But that happened
as more and more rationalists realized where the problem with the IC
argument lay. My point is that no one said said "You don't actually
have a mousetrap there," they said "Your claims about the mousetrap
are incorrect."

> But Miller got the publicity, so the public image of
> anti-ID is that it claims there is no such thing as irreducible
> complexity, or at the very least, that there is no way to operationally
> define IC.

I don't agree that "there is no such thing as irreducible complexity"
was ever Miller's claim *or* the public image. "Irreducible complexity
isn't what Behe thinks it is" was the claim.

> >> Although, as usual, the strategist feels no obligation to give an actual
> >> evolutionary pathway, but only to show that a pathway is not absolutely
> >> forbidden, and then claim that therefore it *must* exist).
>
> > This rhetorical dodge is as silly now as when you first started
> > talking about it. Do you also require that geologists produce maps
> > that describe in exacting detail the movement of the continents in
> > order to accept plate tectonics?
>
> I require that Kenneth Miller produce a complete chemical pathway from a
> non-flagellar bacterium to a flagellar bacterium.

Fine. Ignore both consistency and reason, that's your prerogative. But
at least have the self-awareness to stop presenting that argument as
if it's anything but ideological smoke.

RLC

Kalkidas

unread,
Jun 15, 2012, 2:48:09 PM6/15/12
to
It's a challenge to Darwinian evolution, but not to the kind of
"evolution" that simply means "systems which are assembled over time by
successive fitting of parts". After all, that is how a mousetrap is
assembled, even though it's irreducibly complex.

IC systems are more resistant to the attempts of blind watchmakers, i.e.
Darwinian evolution, than non-IC systems. That's rather common sense,
isn't it?

Kalkidas

unread,
Jun 15, 2012, 2:53:44 PM6/15/12
to
Now THAT'S a smoke screen, since Miller (nor anyone else, to my
knowledge) never said what ID *really* is if it isn't what Behe says it is.

>>>> Although, as usual, the strategist feels no obligation to give an actual
>>>> evolutionary pathway, but only to show that a pathway is not absolutely
>>>> forbidden, and then claim that therefore it *must* exist).
>>
>>> This rhetorical dodge is as silly now as when you first started
>>> talking about it. Do you also require that geologists produce maps
>>> that describe in exacting detail the movement of the continents in
>>> order to accept plate tectonics?
>>
>> I require that Kenneth Miller produce a complete chemical pathway from a
>> non-flagellar bacterium to a flagellar bacterium.
>
> Fine. Ignore both consistency and reason, that's your prerogative. But
> at least have the self-awareness to stop presenting that argument as
> if it's anything but ideological smoke.

Fine, just as soon as you stop presenting Darwinism as "science".

Ernest Major

unread,
Jun 15, 2012, 3:21:10 PM6/15/12
to
In message <jrg02d$jrf$1...@dont-email.me>, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> writes
Firstly, common sense is a poor guide to processes that operate on
spatial and temporal scales far removed from everyday experience.

Secondly, no, it's not common (to me) sense. Common sense says that in
the absence of something that actively maintains a non-IC status
coevolution of parts leads to IC systems.
--
alias Ernest Major

Kalkidas

unread,
Jun 15, 2012, 4:44:53 PM6/15/12
to
Except that there are no examples of such an alleged process. Details
are required. Simply waving a TTSS wand is not sufficient.


Dana Tweedy

unread,
Jun 15, 2012, 6:05:28 PM6/15/12
to
On 6/14/12 4:47 PM, Ray Martinez wrote:
> On Jun 14, 2:50 pm, Kalkidas<e...@joes.pub> wrote:
>> On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>> For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>>
>>> http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>>
>> It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
>> complexity exists.
>
> "Evolutionist admits IC exists."


"IC" as explained to you many times, is not a problem for evolutionary
theory. 'Irreducibly' complex systems can form by incremental steps,
as long as some of those steps are modifications, and subtractions, not
just additions.



>
> If true, why does said author remain an Evolutionist?

Because evolution is the best scientific explanation for the evidence.


DJT

Dana Tweedy

unread,
Jun 15, 2012, 6:07:52 PM6/15/12
to
On 6/14/12 5:54 PM, Ray Martinez wrote:
> On Jun 14, 4:03 pm, Robert Camp<robertlc...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> On Jun 14, 3:47 pm, Ray Martinez<pyramid...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On Jun 14, 2:50 pm, Kalkidas<e...@joes.pub> wrote:
>>
>>>> On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>>
>>>>> For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>>
>>>>> http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>>
>>>> It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
>>>> complexity exists.
>>
>>> "Evolutionist admits IC exists."
>>
>>> If true, why does said author remain an Evolutionist?
>>
>> Because "evolutionists" (most people in fact) tend to base their
>> conclusions on the merits of the evidence. Few people think as you do;
>> that the truth of an argument can be established definitionally -
>> e.g., "Irreducible complexity is disproof of evolution, therefore one
>> cannot accept the factuality of both."
>>
>> RLC
>
> The definition of IC is based on the claim of fact: certain phenomena,
> if it exists, could not have been produced by gradualism.

But that claim is wrong. "IC" can be produced by gradual, and
incremental processes. All you need is to understand that not every
step in an incremental process is an addition.



> If said
> phenomena was produced by gradualism then the same cannot be
> irreducibly complex. It can be complex, but not irreducibly complex.

That is where you, and Behe make your mistakes. As already shown "IC"
is not the same as "not possible to evolve".


DJT


y
>

Ron O

unread,
Jun 15, 2012, 6:32:18 PM6/15/12
to
On Jun 15, 12:38 pm, TomS <TomS_mem...@newsguy.com> wrote:
> "On Fri, 15 Jun 2012 05:15:03 -0700 (PDT), in article
> <90170922-64bf-4d96-a915-eb2fa4b99...@h10g2000yqn.googlegroups.com>, Ron O
Not enough parts to be Behe's type of IC. Somewhere there was
something by Behe where he admitted that a tree branch falling between
two rocks would create an IC system, but it wasn't complex enough to
qualify as his type of IC system.

Ron Okimoto

jillery

unread,
Jun 16, 2012, 12:47:23 AM6/16/12
to
On Fri, 15 Jun 2012 15:32:18 -0700 (PDT), Ron O <roki...@cox.net>
wrote:
Behe limited his examples of IC to biomolecular systems, save for his
trademark mousetrap analogy. IIRC Dembski thought of Behe's IC as a
special case of Specified Complexity, which covered macro systems like
eyes and ears.

jillery

unread,
Jun 16, 2012, 1:44:48 AM6/16/12
to
As was shown long ago, mousetraps are not irreducibly complex:

http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/mousetrap.html


>IC systems are more resistant to the attempts of blind watchmakers, i.e.
>Darwinian evolution, than non-IC systems. That's rather common sense,
>isn't it?


You would have to argue that point. It isn't obvious to me.

Behe's argument that Darwinian evolution can't produce IC systems is
based on two points: 1. the individual parts must evolve the function
they are to perform prior to the existence of the IC system, which is
highly unlikely. 2. the individual parts, along with their
pre-evolved functions, must join together into an IC system at the
same time, else the IC system by definition can't function.

What Behe ignores is that biology offers two pathways to get around
that apparent obstacle. The first pathway has the individual parts
evolving functions separate and distinct from the functions they will
do in the IC system. When the parts join together into an IC system,
they likely will not perform optimally. However, evolution will
continue to modify the IC system as a whole to help optimize its
function.

The second pathway is to duplicate existing biochemical systems. This
allows the separate systems to independently evolve separate
functions. The separate systems can then join as part of a larger IC
system.

Since there is no need to pre-evolve non-functioning parts in
anticipation of their function in future IC systems, Behe's argument
that evolution can't evolve IC systems falls apart. IC system are
evolvable.

jillery

unread,
Jun 16, 2012, 1:51:21 AM6/16/12
to
That's an obvious mis-characterization. The argument is that an
actual evolutionary pathway is either very unlikely or impossible. In
order to prove that wrong, it's only necessary to show a plausible
a/or likely evolutionary pathway.

You would have to cite a case where a scientist claimed said pathway
*must* exist.

backspace

unread,
Jun 16, 2012, 4:58:58 AM6/16/12
to
http://biologos.org/blog/evolution-and-origin-of-biological-information-part-1-intelligent-design
''....When I reviewed Signature for the American Scientific
Affiliation journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith (PSCF)
what struck me, repeatedly, was that Meyer made no mention of the
evidence for natural selection as a mechanism to increase biological
information.....''

Nowhere in the paper is ns defined.


Information can never increase or decreas, it can only be expressed.
By analogy matter can never be created or destroyed but only expressed
in different formats. Information was itself never created, it existed
before the beginning. We are OOP derived instances of information,
made in the image of Information(God.)

premise: Information has no physical location, it is neither destoryed
nor created by only expressed as the Platonic opposite do adaptation.
Communication is not the same thing as information, because
communication has a physical dimension as Shannon explained in his
paper on Communication. IN terms of Platonic duality entropy is
another term for uncertainty and uncertainty is understood as the
contrast to certainty. There is no third alternative to the certainty/
uncertainty duality.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy_%28information_theory%29

TomS

unread,
Jun 16, 2012, 7:08:20 AM6/16/12
to
"On Sat, 16 Jun 2012 01:44:48 -0400, in article
<ns4ot7tgt27fefe4l...@4ax.com>, jillery stated..."
A major problem with IC is that we don't have a single definition of
what IC is. As problems are discovered with one definition, then there
is a revision. I don't know that we have a final description to deal
with. At times, it seems that "cannot have evolved" shows up as part
of the definition.

So, depending upon what description of IC is taken, there are
different problems with the argument from IC to unevolvability.

One convenient approach is simply to point out that there is no
demonstration that the argument is valid. It is not enough to say
that it isn't obvious how an IC system could evolve. But to show
that the argument is not valid, it is enough to show at least one
possible evolutionary pathway to at least one IC system. A single,
even hypothetical, counter-example is enough to show that an
argument is not valid.

backspace

unread,
Jun 16, 2012, 7:17:22 AM6/16/12
to
p.345 http://laboratoriogene.info/Ciencia_Hoje/Popper1978.pdf Popper
wrote:

"...In its most daring and sweeping form, the theory of natural
selection would assert that all organisms, and especially all those
highly complex organs whose existence might be interpreted as evidence
of design and , in addition, all forms of animal behaviour, have
evolved as the result of natural selection, that is, as the result of
chance-like inheritable variations, of which the useless ones are
weeded out, so that only the useful ones remain ....."

Useful and remain are the dissimilar terms that self-referentially
refer to the same fact, saying the same thing twice. If not even
Popper could spot a tautology then it is no wonder the rest of society
has such difficulty.

Note the many ways of using dissimilar terms to say the same thing
twice about the Adaptation premise:
1) Favorable attributes are preserved - Wikipedia ns article version.
2) useful ones remain - Popper
3) Perpetuators proliferate - Stanford tautologies usenet talk.origins
thread
4) Those constituted were preserved - Aristotle, on my wiki
5) Differential reproductive success are another cluster of terms used
as proxy for 1-4.

The formulators of these rhetorical tautological sentences have
different views on the scale by which attributes were acquired:
Spontaneous such as Aristotle or gradual as Darwin had it. Their basic
premises is the same.
1) Information has a physical dimension only(Adaptation), the contrast
to YEC (expression)
2) Information is acquired(adaptation) either gradually(Darwin,
Miller) or spontaneously(Aristotle) and never expresses a pre-existing
attribute.

Note how Darwin lifted Aristotle's tautological proposition,
guaranteeing the truth of his proposition(Spontaneous generation) to
formulate a different guaranteed proposition from which he derived a
different conclusion. Because tautologies guarantee the truth of the
proposition, it allows one to come to any arbitrary conclusion. This
allows evolutionary theory(Aristotle) to adapt past,present and
future; itself to the facts(Genes) like a fog adapts to a mountain.

jillery

unread,
Jun 16, 2012, 9:08:01 AM6/16/12
to
ISTM a solution is to distinguish between Behe's specific IC from more
generalized forms of irreducible complexity. When discussing the
former, as I do above, it's appropriate to restrict the discussion to
Behe's definition, given in the 2006 revision of "Darwin's Black Box":

"A single system which is composed of several interacting parts that
contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of
the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning."

That Behe's definition is still unclear in detail doesn't alter the
validity of arguments which counter its substance. IC advocates
shouldn't be allowed to hide behind the weaknesses of their premise.


>One convenient approach is simply to point out that there is no
>demonstration that the argument is valid. It is not enough to say
>that it isn't obvious how an IC system could evolve. But to show
>that the argument is not valid, it is enough to show at least one
>possible evolutionary pathway to at least one IC system. A single,
>even hypothetical, counter-example is enough to show that an
>argument is not valid.


Yeppers. Kalkidas' requirement that Miller produce a complete
chemical pathway from a non-flagellar bacterium to a flagellar
bacterium simply retreats into solipsism.

TomS

unread,
Jun 16, 2012, 1:18:08 PM6/16/12
to
"On Sat, 16 Jun 2012 00:47:23 -0400, in article
<k13ot71pr1rv2empn...@4ax.com>, jillery stated..."
The original example of Irreducible Complexity, which Behe (I believe)
still holds to is the mousetrap.

Behe (and others) have, in the face of (obvious) non-designed examples
have modified the "definition" in order to account for those examples.

But is there any reason given for the modification of the definition,
other than as an *ad hoc* device to take care of the counter-examples?

Why restrict it to biomolecular systems? Why restrict it to many parts?
Why restrict it to well matched parts? Why restrict it to living systems?
Why restrict it to micro (rather than macro) systems?

Is there something about biomolecular systems which distinguishes their
irreducible complexity from the corresponding property of biomechanical
systems?

backspace

unread,
Jun 16, 2012, 2:22:07 PM6/16/12
to
On Jun 16, 6:18 pm, TomS <TomS_mem...@newsguy.com> wrote:
> "On Sat, 16 Jun 2012 00:47:23 -0400, in article
> <k13ot71pr1rv2empn0etvlk9tr0npsh...@4ax.com>, jillery stated..."
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> >On Fri, 15 Jun 2012 15:32:18 -0700 (PDT), Ron O <rokim...@cox.net>
Why don't you read What D'Arcy Thompson said about the issue?

=== Composite Integrity ===
[[D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson]] on Composite Integrity. These are
scratchpad notes, trying to distill the CI concept by Thompson.
See [[D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson]] for context and Gutenberg press
link.

-------------------------------------------------------
In various ways our structural problem is beset by "limiting
conditions." Not only must rigidity be associated with flexibility,
but also stability must be ensured in various positions and
attitudes ; and the primary function of support or weight-carrying
must be combined with the provision of points

It has been remarked over and over again how harmoni-
ously the whole organism hangs together, and how throughout
its fabric one part is related and fitted to another in strictly
''functional correlation''.

We tend, as we analyse a thing into its parts or into its
properties, to magnify these, to exaggerate their apparent
independence, and to hide from ourselves (at least for a time) the
essential integrity and individuality of the composite whole.

We divide the body into its organs, the skeleton into its bones, as
in very much the same fashion we make a subjective analysis of
the mind, according to the teachings of psychology, into component
factors: but we know very well that judgment and knowledge,
courage or gentleness, love or fear, have no separate existence,
but are somehow mere manifestations, or imaginary co-efficients,
of a most complex integral.

And likewise, as biologists, we may go so far as to say that even the
bones themselves are only in a limited and even a deceptive sense,
separate and individual things. The skeleton begins as a continuum,
and a continuum it
remains all life long. The things that link bone with bone,
cartilage, ligaments, membranes, are fashioned out of the same
primordial tissue, and come into being -pari jmssu, with the bones
themselves.

The entire fabric has its soft parts and its hard, its
rigid and its flexible parts ; but until we disrupt and dismember
its bony, gristly and fibrous parts, one from another, it exists
simply as a "skeleton," as one integral and individual whole.

A bridge was once upon a time a loose heap of pillars and rods
and rivets of steel. But the identity of these is lost, just as if
they were fused into a solid mass, when once the bridge is built;
their separate functions are only to be recognised and analysed
in so far as we can analyse the stresses, the tensions and the
pressures, which affect this part of the structure or that; and
'''these forces are not themselves separate entities, but are the
resultants of an analysis of the whole field of force'''.

''Moreover when the bridge is broken it is no* longer a bridge, and
all its
strength is gone.''

So is it precisely with the skeleton. In it is
reflected a field of force : and keeping pace, as it were, in action
and interaction with this field of force, the whole skeleton and
every part thereof, down to the minute intrinsic structure of the
bones themselves, is related in form and in position to the lines
of force, to the resistances it has to encounter; for by one of
the mysteries of biology, resistance begets resistance, and where
pressure falls there growth springs up in strength to meet it.

And, pursuing the same train of thought, we see that all this is
true not of the skeleton alone but of the whole fabric of the body.
Muscle and bone, for instance, are inseparably associated and
connected ; they are moulded one with another ; they come into
being together, and act and react together*. We may study
them apart, but it is as a concession to our weakness and to the
narrow outlook of our minds. We see, dimly perhaps, but yet
with all the assurance of conviction, that between muscle and
bone there can be no change in the one but it is correlated with
changes in the other; that through and through they are '''linked
in indissoluble association''' ; that they are only separate entities


714 ON FORM AND MECHANICAL EFFICIENCY [ch.

in this limited and subordinate sense, that they are parts of a
whole which, when it loses its '''composite integrity''', ceases to
exist.

:(* John Hunter was seldom wrong ; but I cannot believe that he was
right when
he said (Scientific Works, ed. Owen, i, p. 371), "The bones, in a
mechanical view, appear to be the first that are to be considered. We
can study their shape,
connections, number, uses, etc., without considering any other part of
the body.^' )



'''The biologist, as well as the philosopher, learns to recognise
that the whole is not merely the sum of its parts. '''

It is this, and much more than this. '''For it is not a bundle of
parts but an
organisation of parts''', of parts in their mutual arrangement,
fitting one with another, in what Aristotle calls "a single and
indivisible principle of unity" ; and this is no merely metaphysical
conception, but is in biology the fundamental truth which lies at
the basis of Geoffroy's (or Goethe's) law of "compensation," or
"balancement of growth."


Nevertheless Darwin found no difficulty in believing that
"natural selection will tend in the long run to reduce any part
of the organisation, as soon as, through changed habits, it becomes
superfluous : without by any means causing some other part to
be largely developed in a corresponding degree.
('''NOTES''': '' Tautology: reduce any part <=> becomes superfluous'')

And conversely, that [[Natural Selection]] may perfectly well succeed
in largely developing an organ without requiring as a necessary
compensation
the reduction of some adjoining part*.

This view has been developed into a doctrine of the "independence of
single char-
acters" (not to be confused with the germinal "unit characters"
of '''Mendelism'''), especially by the palaeontologists.

('''NOTES:''' This must have been the chain of reasoning to deal with
the ''composite integrity'' or IC argument back then. It seems
genetics was not yet accepted. Needs further review)


Thus '''Osborn'''
asserts a "'''principle of hereditary correlation,'''" combined with
a
" principle of hereditary separability whereby the body is a colony,
a mosaic, of single individual and separable charactersf-"

I cannot think that there is more than a small element of truth
in this doctrine.

As '''Kant''' said, "die Ursache der Art der Existenz
bei jedem Theile eines lebenden Korpers ist im Ganzen enthalten..'^

And, according to the trend or aspect of our thought, we may
look upon the co-ordinated parts, now as related and fitted to the
end or function of the whole, and now as related to or resulting
from the physical causes inherent in the entire system of forces
to which the whole has been exposed, and under whose influence
it has come into being J.

* Origin of Species, 6th ed. p. 118.

t Atner. Naturalist, April, 1915, p. 198, etc. Cf. infra, p. 727.

J Driesch sees in "Entelechy" that something which differentiates the
whole



XVI] THE PROBLEM OF PHYLOGENY 715

It would seem to me that the mechanical principles and
phenomena which we have dealt with in this chapter are of no small
importance to the morphologist, all the more when he is inclined
to direct his study of the skeleton exclusively to the problem of
phylogeny; and especially when, according to the methods of
modern comparative morphology, he is apt to take the skeleton
to pieces, and to draw from the comparison of a series of scapulae,
humeri, or individual vertebrae, conclusions as to the descent
and relationship of the animals to which they belong.

It would, I dare say, be a gross exaggeration to see in every
bone nothing more than a resultant of immediate and direct
physical or mechanical conditions ; for to do so would be t® deny
the existence, in this connection, of a principle of heredity. And
though I have tried throughout this book to lay emphasis on the
direct action of causes other than heredity, in short to circum-
scribe the employment of the latter as a working hypothesis in
morphology, there can still be no question whatsoever but that
heredity is a vastly important as well as a mysterious thing; it
is one of the great factors in biology, however we may attempt to
figure to ourselves, or howsoever we may fail even to imagine,
its underlying physical explanation.

But I maintain that it is no less an exaggeration if we tend to
neglect these direct physical and mechanical modes of causation
altogether, and to see in the
characters of a bone merely the results of variation and of heredity,
and to trust, in consequence, to those characters as a sure and
certain and unquestioned guide to affinity and phylogeny.
Comparative anatomy has its physiological side, which filled
men's minds in '''[[John Hunter]]''' day, and in Owen's day ; it has
its

from the sum of its parts in the case of the organism:

:"The organism, we know, is a system the single constituents of which
are inorganic in themselves ; only the whole constituted by them in
their typical order or arrangement owes its specificity to
'Entelechy'" {Gifford LerAures, p. 2"?9, 1908): and I think it could
be shewn that many other philosophers have said precisely the same
thing.

('''NOTES''': Entelechy seems to have been some sort of vernacular for
IC, by Gifford Leraures - DO A SEARCH)


So far as the argument goes, I fail to see how this Entelechy is shewn
to be peculiarly or specifically related to the living organism.

'''The conception that the whole is ahvays somethini^ very different
from its parts is a very ancient doctrine. '''

The reader will perhaps remember how, in another vein, the theme is
treated by '''Martinus Seriblerus''': "In every Jack there is a meat-
roasting Quality, which neither resides in the fly, nor in the weight,
nor in any particular wheel of the Jack, but is the result of the
whole composition; etc., etc."



716 ON FOKM AND MECHANICAL EFFICIENCY [ch.

classificatory and phylogenetic aspect, which has all but filled
men's minds during the last couple of generations; and we can
lose sight of neither aspect without risk of error and misconception.

It is certain that the question of phylogeny, always difficult,
becomes especially so in cases where a great change of physical
or mechanical conditions has come about, and where accordingly
the physical and physiological factors in connection with change
of form are bound to be large. To discuss these questions at
length would be to enter on a discussion of Lamarck's philosophy
of biology, and of many other things besides. But let us take
one single illustration.


backspace

unread,
Jun 16, 2012, 2:49:19 PM6/16/12
to
Notice this part by D'Arcy Thompson, how he traces back the IC concept
back to Aristotle:

http://archive.org/details/ongrowthform00thom
The biologist, as well as the philosopher, learns to recognise that
the whole is not merely the sum of its parts. It is this, and much
more than this. For it is not a bundle of parts but an organisation of
parts, of parts in their mutual arrangement, fitting one with another,

TomS

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Jun 17, 2012, 6:09:53 AM6/17/12
to
"On Sat, 16 Jun 2012 11:49:19 -0700 (PDT), in article
<d5fbaffc-f84a-4429...@l17g2000vbj.googlegroups.com>, backspace
stated..."
I am aware that a concept very much like Behe's Irreducible
Complexity existed in biology long before Behe and even before Darwin.

For example, it was widely used in the 18th century to argue for
preformation.

backspace

unread,
Jun 17, 2012, 6:30:58 AM6/17/12
to
After googling, it seem the paragraph below is what Thompson referred
to:

http://tautology.wikia.com/wiki/Aristotle#a_single_and_indivisible_principle_of_unity
''...But again, if unity is more of the nature of a principle, and the
indivisible is one, and everything indivisible is so either in
quantity or in species, and that which is so in species is the prior,
and genera are divisible into species for man is not the genus of
individual men), that which is predicated directly of the individuals
will have more unity. ...''

I don't understand this, is there any Aristotle experts around?



jillery

unread,
Jun 17, 2012, 9:37:07 AM6/17/12
to
Other than that Behe is a biochemist by profession, there's nothing I
can think of. ISTM to be merely a convenient way to mitigate the
"which IC?" question. To be explicit, I see no conceptual distinction
between Behe's IC and Dembski's SCI, but if you want to discuss the
one, it's best not to conflate it with the other.

Ray Martinez

unread,
Jun 17, 2012, 5:04:13 PM6/17/12
to
On Jun 15, 10:28 am, Robert Camp <robertlc...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> On Jun 14, 4:54 pm, Ray Martinez <pyramid...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jun 14, 4:03 pm, Robert Camp <robertlc...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Jun 14, 3:47 pm, Ray Martinez <pyramid...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > > > On Jun 14, 2:50 pm, Kalkidas <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
>
> > > > > On 6/14/2012 2:41 PM, Mark Buchanan wrote:
>
> > > > > > For those interested in detailed examples that show increase in DNA complexity Venema has a good series of articles going:
>
> > > > > >http://biologos.org/blog/understanding-evolution-evolutionary-origins...
>
> > > > > It's nice to see an anti-ID author finally admitting that irreducible
> > > > > complexity exists.
>
> > > > "Evolutionist admits IC exists."
>
> > > > If true, why does said author remain an Evolutionist?
>
> > > Because "evolutionists" (most people in fact) tend to base their
> > > conclusions on the merits of the evidence. Few people think as you do;
> > > that the truth of an argument can be established definitionally -
> > > e.g., "Irreducible complexity is disproof of evolution, therefore one
> > > cannot accept the factuality of both."
>
> > > RLC
>
> > The definition of IC is based on the claim of fact: certain phenomena,
> > if it exists, could not have been produced by gradualism.
>
> [Ignoring, for the moment, the fact that Herman Muller described
> "IC" (interlocking) systems as a product of evolution long before
> Behe...]
>
> No, the claim is based on the definition, which you have wrong.
>
> But the claim is not a fact, it is an argument that requires
> evidential support. It is premised upon IC as defined by Behe (see
> Burkhard's post) and I would have you observe, as Burkhard pointed
> out, that Behe does not include "cannot have evolved" in the
> definition.

That's precisely why I said "The definition of IC is based on the
claim of fact...." (above). Behe goes on to say because these systems
are irreducible gradualism is falsified.

I fail to understand what both you and Burk don't understand?

> There's a good reason for this. Behe understood that doing
> so would amount to begging the question, and it would have done him no
> good. Defining an IC system as something that cannot have evolved
> would have been a direct assumption of the conclusion he was
> attempting to put forward and would have earned him nothing but scorn
> for his inability to formulate a coherent argument.
>
> Thus the *definition* of IC was an observation about interrelated
> parts in a system, and the *argument* which followed from it was that
> such a system cannot evolve.

Agreed.

Again, all I said was "The definition of IC is based on the claim of
fact: certain phenomena, if it exists, could not have been produced by
gradualism" (RM).

> Many pathways have since been offered by
> which such systems can in fact evolve, leaving Behe's specific claims
> essentially falsified.
>

This is another subject, but what you say is not true (Behe 1996 has
never been falsified).

> You do not understand what IC is, and you've gotten the argument
> backwards. When will you recognize that your dependence upon personal
> definitions is dysfunctional?
>
> RLC

All this says is that you misread what I wrote.

Conclusion: If irreducible phenomena exists then gradualism is
falsified. If the phenomena known as "IC" systems was produced by
gradualism then the quote marks are justified.

Ray

Robert Camp

unread,
Jun 17, 2012, 10:08:02 PM6/17/12
to
What you don't understand is that we actually do understand.

You are arguing that it is part of the definition of IC that the
condition cannot come about by natural processes (evolution). This is
not part of Behe's definition, nor is it part of anyone else's
(besides yourself). What this means is that an example of IC can be
identified by either side of the argument (and in fact has been)
without compelling any resolution of the argument offered by ID
proponents. Both sides agree that structures may be irreducibly
complex. They disagree about what that implies.

> > There's a good reason for this. Behe understood that doing
> > so would amount to begging the question, and it would have done him no
> > good. Defining an IC system as something that cannot have evolved
> > would have been a direct assumption of the conclusion he was
> > attempting to put forward and would have earned him nothing but scorn
> > for his inability to formulate a coherent argument.
>
> > Thus the *definition* of IC was an observation about interrelated
> > parts in a system, and the *argument* which followed from it was that
> > such a system cannot evolve.
>
> Agreed.
>
> Again, all I said was "The definition of IC is based on the claim of
> fact: certain phenomena, if it exists, could not have been produced by
> gradualism" (RM).

Again, the definition is *not* based on the claim, the claim is based
on the definition.

And your assertion which follows is also wrong The reason it's wrong
is that, even using Behe's definition, your conclusion ("could not
have been produced...") does not follow from the existence of IC. It
is something that must be further established by evidential
demonstration.

> > Many pathways have since been offered by
> > which such systems can in fact evolve, leaving Behe's specific claims
> > essentially falsified.
>
> This is another subject, but what you say is not true (Behe 1996 has
> never been falsified).

For all reasonable intents and purposes, it has.

> > You do not understand what IC is, and you've gotten the argument
> > backwards. When will you recognize that your dependence upon personal
> > definitions is dysfunctional?
>
> > RLC
>
> All this says is that you misread what I wrote.
>
> Conclusion: If irreducible phenomena exists then gradualism is
> falsified. If the phenomena known as "IC" systems was produced by
> gradualism then the quote marks are justified.

You are wrong. Utterly wrong. And it is because you are using an
idiosyncratic definition of IC.

RLC


jillery

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Jun 18, 2012, 1:20:15 AM6/18/12